Club Car adopting furloughs to cut costs

Club Car announced this afternoon that it is implementing a plan that will require salaried and some hourly employees to take two weeks of unpaid furlough before the end of the year.

“We have continued to see the effects of the global economic downturn, and as a result we have considered several approaches to reducing costs,” said Gary Michel, Club Car’s CEO.

“After assessing the situation it has been decided that we will institute a mandatory furlough program as a way to generate the necessary cost savings with as little impact as possible on our employees and our business," he said.

The furlough plan will affect 400 salary workers at the Evans facility, and 50 hourly workers, the company said this afternoon.

Affected employees will be required to take one week of unpaid leave in the fall and then in the winter.

Columbia County's largest manufacturing employer laid off 5 percent of its work force in April in response to weak market conditions.

Club Car, a division of Ingersoll Rand, employs 900 people at its facilities in Evans and an additional 40 globally.

The furloughs will not affect the global employees, said Susan Jaramillo, communications director for Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial Technologies Sector.

“Despite our previous staffing and cost reductions, we must continue to be very cautious and mindful of our overall cost structure,” Mr. Michel said. “At the same time we must maintain critical and needed levels of resources in order to concentrate and respond to the needs of our customers both now and in the future.”

Club Car is also extending by a week its annually summer shut down, closing the facility on Washington Road for three weeks in July.

Mr. Michel said the additional week is in response to the economy, but the shut down is normally a time to make adjustments to the manufacturing equipment for product updates.

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